When you want to start colouring or if you’re just choosing a gift for a friend, finding the right pencil set at the right price can be tricky, specially now with so many different brands on the market.
I know, I’ve been there. Through the years I’ve acquired many pencil sets, tested a lot and found out that most are great if you use them for the right purpose.
I’ve listed here three groups of my favourite pencils, those are sets that I enjoy because they are fun. I like pencils that are easy to hold, that are smooth and creamy to colour, that allow some blending and that don’t produce too much dust.
Here’s some help you in your search, just answer this question:
What is your use for this pencil set?
1- You want to have great time colouring and you’re not worried about how long colours will last:
2 – You are starting to colour and want to learn some techniques, but don’t want to spend too much:
3 – You want to do Artwork that will last through the years and that you can frame and/or sell:
Best Artist Sets $$$
Best Budget Sets $
There are many brands in the market that are wonderful to work with and are not expensive at all. With the increased interest in colouring, we have a large choice of pencils available. They present a fantastic choice of colours, smooth experience when colouring and are very visually appealing. The catch when pencils are great but inexpensive is that the pigment used is not resistant to light and the colours have a tendency to fade with time, specially purples and pinks.
I have some sets in this category that I love, just because they are smooth to colour with. I use them in my colouring books, to relax and have fun. If you are interested in having a lot of fun with colouring and don’t care about longevity, those pencils are for you. There are many budget brands available, I listed only the ones I like better!
- Black Widow Collection – Black Widow, Scorpion, Cobra, Monarch and Skin – Dark and Light.
- Castle Art Soft Series – 72 tin, 72 case, 120 tin and 120 case.
- Prismacolor Scholar – 60 pack, 48 pack and 24 pack.
- Sargent Art – 72 tin
- Guang Hui – 168 pack
- Schpirerr Farben – 96 tin, 72 tin.
Best Student Sets $$
Today there are great pencil sets that will allow the student to practice techniques like layering or blending without breaking the bank. They are also a great choice for someone that wants to try and experience the artistic possibilities of this medium, but doesn’t want to invest in an expensive set in the beginning.
- Prismacolor Premier – 150 set, 132 set, 72 set, 36 set and 12 set.
- Derwent Coloursoft – 72 tin set, 36 tin set, 24 tin set, 12 tin set, 24 wood box and 72 wood box.
- Derwent Procolour – 72 tin set, 36 tin set, 24 tin set and 12 tin set.
- Polycolor by Koh-I-knoor – 72 tin set.
- GoldFaber by Faber-Castell – 48 tin set and 24 tin set.
- Marco Renoir – 100 tin set.
Best Artist Sets $$$
Prepare yourself because those sets provide a great experience when colouring. Deep saturated colours that blend effortlessly and lighter colours that overlay darker tones. Resistance to exposure to light guarantees that your artwork will last for decades to come. However, excellence has a price and those beauties sure are on the top of the price list for pencils.
- Luminance by Caran D’Ache – 76 set and 80 wood box.
- Holbein – 50, 100 or 150 count.
- Derwent Lightfastness – 76 tin set and 36 tin set.
- Pablos by Caran D’Ache – 120 tin set, 80 tin set, 30 tin set, 12 tin set and 120 wood box.
- Polychromos by Faber-Castell – 120 tin set, 60 tin set, 36 set, 24 tin set, 12 tin set, 6 set and 120 set wood box.
- Albrecht Dürer by Faber-Castell (watercolour pencils) – 120 tin set, 60 tin set, 36 tin set, 24 tin set.